Twitter is cracking down on posts that spread (potentially dangerous) false stories as part of a broader effort to promote accuracy during times of crisis, per Bloomberg.
What happened: Under the new policy, the platform will downplay posts that make misleading claims about crises like natural disasters and wars, including tweets that mischaracterize conditions in Ukraine’s conflict zones or allege false war crimes.
- Twitter will prioritize labelling tweets from political figures, verified accounts and state-sponsored media outlets during crises, which the company describes as events posing a “widespread threat to life, physical safety, health or basic subsistence.”
The company says misinformation about mass shootings or natural disasters or potential future global conflicts can have devastating impacts—false tweets about the wildfires in California last year spread so fast they caused disruptions for firefighters.
Why it matters: Twitter’s hands-on approach to fighting harmful misinformation could clash with Elon Musk’s future plans for the company as a ‘free speech haven.’
Musk, who has agreed to pay $44 billion to acquire Twitter and vowed to do away with its content moderation policies,said Twitter should only take down posts that violate the law—misinformation doesn’t, so this policy may not survive Twitter’s Elon-ization.
(Assuming he doesn’t back out of the deal, which is a big if).